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Museums and Galleries: Performance Indicator Data

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): The department's guidance on visitor and other performance indicator data is still current and there are no plans to review it.

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Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill

Lord Clarke of Hampstead asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a statement has been made under the Human Rights Act 1998 in connection with the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill.[HL2167]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I have made a statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 that, in my view, the provisions of the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill are compatible with the convention rights. A copy of the statement has been placed in the Library of the House. ral

School Nurses

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many school nurses there were in each of the past five years, identifying separately nurses working in mainstream schools and those working in special schools; and[HL1954]

    Whether the number of school nurses has been increased in recent years to reflect the increasing numbers of school children with profound and multiple disabilities.[HL1955]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): This information is not collected centrally. It is for local organisations to plan school nursing services to reflect the needs of the local school-aged population and national priorities.

The Government are increasing the number of training commissions for school nursing which will increase those entering the workforce. Between 1998–99 and 2001–02 the number of nurses entering training to become a school nurse has increased by 33 per cent.

The NHS Plan and manifesto targets for increasing the overall nursing workforce has been achieved early. Delivering the NHS Plan, published in April 2002, forecasts an extra 35,000 nurses employed in the NHS by 2008 over 2001 levels. This means an increased supply of qualified nurses from which school nurses can be recruited and trained.

NHS in Wales: VAT

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What effect the new liability of the National Public Health Service in Wales to pay VAT on the culture media purchased from Public Health Laboratory Service media services will have on both organisations.[HL1991]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: This matter is presently the subject of ongoing discussions between officials in the National Assembly for Wales Government, the Department of Health and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. ral


Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the reply given by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath to Lord Morris of Manchester on 26 February about haemophilia and decisions by the Scottish Executive (HL Deb, col. 232) was inaccurate.[HL2012]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The reply that "no decisions have been made" was correct. Officials from the United Kingdom Government departments concerned and the Scottish Executive are looking at the Scottish expert group's findings and their implications for the interface between the social security system and devolved responsibilities. No conclusions have yet been reached.

Deafblind People: Social Care

Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they have monitored local authorities' responses to the Circular LAC(2001)8 Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults; how many and what proportion of local authorities have responded; and when they did so; and[HL2035]

    Which local authorities have not replied to the Government's request for information following LAC(2001)8 Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults; and[HL2036]

    How many and what proportion of local authorities are known to

    (a) have identified and made contact with deafblind people in their care;

    (b) have assessed the needs for deafblind people;

    (c) provide appropriate services to deafblind people;

    (d) provide one-to-one support for deafblind people; and

    (e) have one member of senior management who has responsibility for deafblind services included in his or her responsibilities.[HL2038]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Information on services provided for deafblind people has been supplied through referrals, assessment and packages of care data, which show those with dual sensory impairment as a distinct client group in a number of areas. The Social Services Inspectorate has been specifically monitoring progress on implementation of the local authority circular through position statements. Although the specific information requested is not

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collected generally, all local authorities responded to the questions relating to the LAC in last year's statements and the results are shown as follows. We will continue to monitor implementation through the biannual delivery and improvement statements.

Officials in the Department of Health meet twice a year with members of the Association of Directors of Social Services, Sense, Deafblind UK, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and the Royal National Institute for the Blind to share information, review implementation of the guidance and identify ways of assisting local authorities in improving their service delivery to deafblind children and adults.

Percentage of councils which responded to questions in spring position statement 2002–03

Per cent
2322—What progress has the council made towards identifying people who are deafblind
4—Nearing completion17.3
MissingNone Missing

Per cent

2323—What progress has the council made towards identifying

those agencies/staff with special skills to meet the needs of

people who are deafblind




4—Nearing completion11.3


MissingNone Missing

Per cent

2324—What progress has the council made towards preparing a

communications strategy to support people who are deafblind




4—Nearing completion10.0


MissingNone Missing

Department of Health: QWAs

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will send outside advisers into the Department of Health to give advice on how to answer Questions for Written Answer within the standard period of two weeks, bearing in mind that the department has three outstanding Questions not answered within that period; and[HL2047]

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    Why the Department of Health answered HL1249 on 5 March, six weeks after it was tabled on 22 January, bearing in mind that the standard period for answering questions is two weeks.[HL2048]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health answers the greater majority of the Questions it receives for Written Answer within the 14-day time-scale. I take very seriously the requirement to adhere to this standard period.

I regret that three Questions did not receive replies within the two-week period. All of these were answered on 5 March.

Human Cloning

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of recent votes in the United States' House of Representatives, the French Senate and the German Parliament in favour of a complete ban on all forms of human cloning, including therapeutic cloning, what progress is being made towards developing an international consensus on the issue of human cloning.[HL2066]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The United Kingdom already has a legal ban, the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, that prevents any attempt to carry out reproductive cloning.

The United Nations is working towards a convention to ban reproductive cloning. The UK is very much in favour of this initiative but does not agree with those who wish to see an extension of any ban to cover therapeutic cloning.

The UK Government agree with the House of Lords Select Committee report of 2002 that there is a powerful case for the use of therapeutic cloning, under strict regulation, as a research tool. Such research is permitted under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001 for the purposes of increasing knowledge about serious diseases and their treatment.

Food Supplements: Nutrients

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What nutrients currently on the market in the United Kindom as ingredients in food supplements are not listed in Schedules 2 and 3 of the proposed Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 recently published by the Food Standards Agency; and whether in each case they hold any information on whether or not dossiers are currently under preparation by manufacturers for submission to the European Food Safety Authority for consideration as possible additions to those Annexes.[HL2069]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: According to information provided by industry, the nutrients boron, cobalt, nickel, silicon, tin and vanadium are used as ingredients of food supplements currently on the market in the United Kingdom and are not listed in Schedules 2 and 3 of the draft Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 issued for consultation in October 2002. The most recent information received by the Food Standards Agency from industry indicates that manufacturers are not preparing safety dossiers for any of these nutrients.

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